Following findings from the Girlguiding 2015 attitude survey here is our advice for what to do if you experience cyberbullying.
The Girlguiding Survey
New findings from Girlguiding UK show that girls and young women are facing online pressures which did not exist for previous generations.
The Girlguiding 2015 Girls’ Attitudes Survey revealed that young girls are increasingly affected by cyberbullying. Of those asked in the survey 45% of girls aged between 11 and 16 years old said that they have experienced bullying on social media.
The young people asked in the 2015 Girls’ Attitudes Survey stated cyberbullying a being a significant issue in their lives. Because cyberbullying is not an issue that previous generations have experienced there is a further challenge to young people not feeling understood and therefore not getting the right support.
“Now we have like different ways of bullying, like cyber bullying, internet and then back in the day they didn’t have that. So parents wouldn’t understand it.” (Girl aged 11-15)
“On Instagram people make like fake accounts and things like that. And they put things on about you. Then you don’t know who that person is and you get really annoyed about it.” (Girl aged 11-15)
Our advice for parents:
It’s important for parents to know about cyberbullying in order for them to support and help their children. Here are our top tips for parents:
- Always remember that cyberbullying is bullying through the internet and technology, and just as with all forms of bullying it is when someone is being unkind on purpose and it is happening more than once.
- Cyberbullying can happen anywhere online, including: games, apps, websites, text messages, phone calls and on social media
- A cyberbully can be someone they know but could also be a stranger online.
- Don’t deny access to devices or apps if you are worried they are being cyberbullied – Young people may feel this is a punishment on them when they haven’t done anything wrong
- Understand the tools you need to be able to help your child make a report and block a cyberbully: http://www.childnet.com/resources/how-to-make-a-report
- Know who to report to. This could be the school or service provider (e.g. Facebook or Snapchat)
- If you feel the behaviour has broken the law then it is important to contact the Police. Cyberbullying can sometimes involve death threats, malicious communications that might be racist, sexist or homophobic and hate crimes.
Advice for young people
This is our advice for young people about what to do if they encounter cyberbullying.
- Always respect others online and treat them as you would wish to be treated
- Keep your passwords safe, even from friends, and lock down your privacy settings.
At Childnet we say your password is like your toothbrush for 2 reasons – we wouldn’t share our toothbrush with others just like our passwords and we get new toothbrushes regularly just as we should update our passwords. Make sure your password isn’t an obvious word and that you include capitals, symbols and numbers. Get more information about privacy settings from our checklists www.saferinternet.org.uk/checklists
- Never reply to the messages as can encourage a bully to send more
- Always save the evidence or take screenshots
- Block and the delete the contact
- Report anyone being offensive to the site/service
- Tell an adult you trust – parents, teachers or Childline (0800 11 11 or www.childline.org.uk)
For more information about The Girlguiding survey visit www.girlguiding.org.uk
For more information about cyberbullying have a look at the Childnet Cyberbullying Hot Topic